Trump and Putin to Meet in Finland on July 16

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President Donald Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 16 in Helsinki.

The U.S. and Russia issued a joint statement confirming details of the summit, saying “the two leaders will discuss relations between the United States and Russia and a range of national security issues,” CBS News reported.

Finland, which was officially neutral during the Cold War, is not a member of NATO and in the past served as the location for diplomatic talks between U.S. and Soviet Union–and later Russian–officials. 

CBS News’ Mark Knoller reports that this will be the latest in a series of presidential visits to Helsinki for diplomatic talks with their Russian counterparts. Helsinki was the backdrop for President Gerald Ford’s meeting with Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev in 1975, President George H.W. Bush’s meeting with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 and President Bill Clinton’s summit with President Boris Yeltsin in 1997.

Besides a one-on-one meeting between Trump and Putin, the event may also include a working breakfast and joint news conference.

Putin aide Yuri Ushakov said Trump and Putin may adopt a joint statement on issues including “improving bilateral relations, both in terms of joint actions in the international arena and in terms of ensuring international stability and security.”

National Security Advisor John Bolton responded to concerns at a recent press conference over the president meeting with Putin, who is at the center of ongoing probes into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.

Bolton said he does not “think it’s unusual for President Trump and President Putin to meet,” adding that “President Trump believes so strongly that it was time to have this kind of meeting and as you can see, President Putin agreed.”

Trump took to Twitter prior to the announcement of the summit details, denying – as he as repeatedly done – any collusion with Russia occurred during the 2016 election.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee he is “confident that when the president meets with Vladimir Putin he will make clear that meddling in our elections is completely unacceptable.”

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